Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tank Program

Regulations for Facilities Under the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA):

As the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) for Stanislaus County, the Hazardous Materials Division is authorized to ensure that businesses which are regulated by the State of California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) have a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan in place. Below are guidelines for complying with APSA. The regulations contained in the APSA are in conformance with the Federal regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the authority of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) as defined in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 112 (40 CFR, Part 112). Under the FWPCA, Federal agencies are also required to comply with State and local regulations with respect to oil pollution prevention.

If your facilities have an aboveground petroleum storage tank or multiple tanks with a cumulative storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or more (stored in containers of 55 gallons and larger), you are required to develop and implement a SPCC Plan.

The California APSA only regulates tank facilities that store petroleum. Businesses that are required to have SPCC plans but do not store petroleum are not within our jurisdiction and are not included in this program. Petroleum is defined in the APSA as "crude oil, or any fraction thereof, which is liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute pressure (normal atmospheric pressure). Fuels that are not liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit are not considered "petroleum" under the APSA definition. Additionally 100% vegetable or plant based oils are NOT regulated under APSA (but may be regulated under federal SPCC law).

Tank Facilities with a total storage capacity of more than 1,320 gallons and less than 10,000 gallons of oil, with limited or no oil releases, are considered "Qualified Facilities" under the federal SPCC rule. There are two types of qualified facilities, Tier I and Tier II. A "Qualified Facility" Tier 1 and Tier 2 template SPCC Plan is available for tank facilities to complete, self-certify, and implement in lieu of a full Professional Engineer (PE) certified Plan. To use the Federal "Qualified Facility" Exemption you must meet all of the following:

  1. 10,000 gallons or less of total aboveground petroleum storage capacity (Federal Qualified Facilities must use the federal definition of oil, which means oil of any kind or in any form including petroleum; fuel oil; sludge; oil refuse; oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil; fats, oils or greases of animal, fish, or marine mammal origin; vegetable oils, including oil from seeds, nuts, etc.).
  2. Has not within any 12 month period in the three years prior to creating the SPCC had:
    a.) single discharge of 1,000 gallons or more to navigable waters or,
    b.) two discharges to navigable water each exceeding 42 gallons.
  3. A Tier 1 Qualified Facility does not have an aboveground storage tank greater than 5,000 gallons; a Tier 2 Qualified Facility has an aboveground storage tank greater than 5,000 gallons.
  4. If your facility has an aboveground storage tank greater than 5,000 gallons but your total oil storage capacity is less than 10,000 gallons you may still self-certify and implement the SPCC plan in lieu of a full PE certified Plan, but may not use the template plan found in appendix G to 40 CFR 112.
  • Tier 1 Qualified Facility SPCC Plan Template
    Tier 1 SPCC Plan Template was prepared by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). It was designed to assist facilities that meet the Tier I Qualification in meeting the requirements of 40 CFR 112.
  • Tier 2 Qualified Facility SPCC Plan Template
    This Tier II SPCC Plan Template was prepared by the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) –Office of the State Fire Marshall. It was designed to serve as guidance to assist facilities to prepare a SPCC Tier II plan as found in (40 CFR) 112.3(g)(2). It is based upon the Tier II Qualified Facility SPCC Plan template originally designed by the California CUPA Forum Board’s (CalCUPA) APSA workgroup.

A Conditional APSA Exemption exempts some California facilities from preparing a SPCC plan. This conditional exemption applies to a farm, a nursery, logging site or a construction site * , if (1) no aboveground tank exceeds 20,000 gallons and (2) the cumulative storage capacity at the site is less than 100,000 gallons. To maintain this exemption, the facility must conduct and document daily inspections of the aboveground tank(s), be inspected by the local CUPA, and install secondary containment if a determination is made by the CUPA. Although Conditionally Exempt by California Law if the aforementioned parameters are adhered to, these facilities may still be required to prepare and implement a Federal SPCC plan.

*A construction site is the portion of the facility that is actually undergoing construction. A construction yard is not a construction site.

Before purchasing, installing, or retrofitting an existing tank, the local Fire Marshall and the California Air Resources Board should be contacted for any site specific restrictions. In some locations you may be able to obtain a written waiver of certain California Fire Code requirements.

There are several commercial tank systems available that meet the requirements of the APSA, OSHA regulations, and California Fire Code regulations. Many of these tanks are also available with optional equipment to meet any California Air Resources Board requirements for vapor recovery. Serious consideration should be given to purchasing one of these self-contained units when constructing a new tank facility or to bring an existing tank facility into compliance. Many of these tanks are on the GSA schedule.

Under No Circumstances should an Underwriters Laboratories (UL Listed) underground storage tank be used as an aboveground storage tank.

Helpful links about the APSA Program and how to develop a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC):

    Office of the State Fire Marshall’s APSA webpage
    CalEPA Letter to Regulated Business
    State Water Resources Control Board Resolution No. 88-63 "sources of drinking water"
    Oil Pollution Prevention Federal Law 40CFR, part 112
    SPCC Plan Contents
    Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) Program Fees

For Additional Information about Aboveground Storage Tank Requirements in Stanislaus County Please Contact:

Stanislaus County CUPA
Aboveground Storage Tank Program
Stanislaus County Dept. of Environmental Resources
3800 Cornucopia Way, Suite C
Modesto, CA 95358
Call: (209) 525-6700

For Additional Information about Aboveground Storage Tank Requirements in California Please Contact:

Office of the State Fire Marshal
Jennifer Lorenzo
Email: vog.ac.erif@ozneroL.refinneJ